Opposition to NY ‘Buy American’ proposal mounts

ALBANY – Nancy McLernon, president and CEO of the Organization for International Investment (OFII), today sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Majority Leader John Flanagan and Speaker Carl Heastie outlining the growing concerns of NY employers regarding the harmful effects that proposed “Buy American” policies will have on the Empire State. 

“Policies that discriminate against globally-oriented businesses hurt the sectors most important to the health of New York’s most promising industries, which the state has spent billions of dollars to help grow – like nanotechnology, biotechnology, and semiconductors,” writes McLernon in her letter to policymakers.  “The governor’s proposal has alarmed many New York employers and taxpayers…. [and] I urge the legislature to reject… forced localization requirements in the final FY 2018 Budget.  This policy would undermine the very outcomes the budget hopes to achieve.”

The governor’s proposal would bar all state agencies, public universities and an array of regional and local purchasing authorities from buying products that are manufactured domestically unless at least 60 percent of the final product’s components and subcomponents are also produced in the United States.

McLernon concludes the letter by asking three questions that proponents of the legislation have failed to address:

  1. Does the governor have any empirical evidence to back up the assertion that this proposal will actually create more jobs in New York?
  2. How much more will state agencies, and ultimately New York taxpayers, pay to comply with these rules, if implemented?
  3. How does this proposal advance the governor’s Global NY and the regional economic development councils’ efforts to attract prospective global employers and grow globally competitive industries? 

OFII represents the U.S. subsidiaries of globally-headquartered companies, including more than 100 NY employers such as Panasonic, Siemens, Bombardier, Volvo Trucks, Philips Healthcare, BASF and HSBC. Global firms like these support more than 428,000 jobs in the state, paying wages and benefits that are 44 percent higher than the statewide average. 

A copy of the letter can be found here.